The Grand Chamber of the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) ruled on January 31 that the Russian Federation has to pay 10 million Euros in compensation for damages related to mass deportation of Georgian nationals from Russia in 2006. The Grand Chamber judgment was adopted by sixteen votes to one.
Today’s ruling relates to ECHR’s July 2014 judgment, where the Court held that the arrest, detention and collective expulsion of Georgian nationals in the autumn of 2006 violated the European Convention of Human Rights.
Back then, however, the ECHR ruled that it was “not ready for decision” on just satisfaction, and invited the parties to negotiate on compensation. The Court resumed case-related deliberations in 2015, as the parties failed to reach an agreement (Georgia requested 70 million Euros in compensation).
“Having regard to all the relevant circumstances of the present case, the Court deemed it reasonable to award the applicant Government a lump sum of 10,000,000 euros (EUR) in respect of nonpecuniary damage suffered by the group of at least 1,500 Georgian nationals,” reads the press release of the judgment.
The amount will to be distributed to individual victims, according to the ECHR.
Over 2,300 Georgians were detained and forcibly expelled by the Russian authorities in late September 2006 and early 2007, following the 2006 spy row between the two countries. Hundreds of them were flown back to Tbilisi on Russian Emergency Ministry’s cargo planes.
More than 2,000 other Georgians were also expelled from Russia and left the country on their own, according to the Georgian government’s estimations.
Georgia claimed in its complaint, that these measures were reprisals by the Russian authorities in response to the arrest of four Russian officers in Tbilisi in September 2006. Russia, which was denying any such measures against Georgian nationals, argued that it was just a continuation of its standard practice of countering illegal immigration.
The ECHR ruled in July, 2014 that there had been a violation of the European Convention of Human Rights in respect of prohibition of collective expulsion of aliens; right to liberty and security; right to judicial review of detention; prohibition of inhuman or degrading treatment; right to an effective remedy.